Italy boasts genius solution to plastic straw waste

29 September 2019, 14:28 | Updated: 25 October 2019, 15:04

Italy is leading the charge for pasta straws as an alternative to plastic
Italy is leading the charge for pasta straws as an alternative to plastic. Picture: @Duff_Box
Ewan Quayle

By Ewan Quayle

Pubs and cafes across Italy are using uncooked pasta tubes as straws in a bid to reduce plastic pollution.

Tourists have taken to social media to share their experience of Italy's new trend to cut back on plastic pollution: pasta straws.

It has been hailed as a possible solution to single-use plastic straws, which have been shown to be damaging to the environment and animals in the ocean.

A documentary by naturalist David Attenborough showing how plastic was harming wildlife in the ocean sparked campaigns worldwide calling for alternatives to plastic in every day items, including straws.

One bar in Naples, Nabeer Birroteca, began serving drinks with bucatini pasta straws in May, asking customers on Facebook to "play your part".

Last year the UK government pledged to clamp down on the sale of plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds after thousands were found washed up on beaches and in the bellies of whales and dolphins.

Large companies, such as McDonalds, have tried alternatives such as paper straws but have proven unpopular with their customers.

On the Italian island of Capri, however, non-recyclable plastics were banned earlier this year, with tourists who bring single-use plastics on to the island facing a fine of up to €500.

Although non-recyclable plastic isn't banned in mainland Italy, many business have decided to find alternatives to plastic for their drinks, and pasta appeared to be a natural choice.

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